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Human Error: Who Should You Blame?

February 19, 2018
By Ray Kimble
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Human Error: Who Should You Blame?

Often when we hear the term human error, our minds immediately assume something went wrong by a human. This is not always the case and the phrase is misleading. An error or mistake is never quite so black and white.

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The same goes with your business. If you were to ask the technicians and developers who handle computer systems, they’d all agree with the old adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” Basically, this doesn’t mean the product, the source, or even the person entering the code or information is the problem. Sometimes they are, but not always. The majority of the time an error or faulty flow cycle is caused by errant keystrokes or the environment around the source of the entry.

Let’s take your business as an example. Do you use automation in your supply chain; how about in invoicing and reporting? If you’re like most, you probably use automation systems for several aspects of your business to keep it running smoothly on autopilot. With the world around us moving so fast around us, every second counts.

Ask yourself these questions: How much of your business runs on automation? Do you print invoices for a handful of customers because they require very specific attention and formatting? Annoying, right? Not the customer but the process. Doing it every single time, over and over again. Humans are animals of repetition and habit. That’s how our minds learn to adapt to our environment and the people therein.

But this familiarity also causes blind spots. It’s only natural. Our brains protect us from the dangers around us by monitoring our surroundings constantly, but dangers aren’t always in the form of a wolf lurking up behind you. Oftentimes, the danger is missed information in the mundane tasks. Just think about it. You probably sell items that require specific disclaimers. Why? To display important information to the customer in question. Do your employees have difficulty with certain processes? Do you see mistakes or less-than-efficient results in the same departments and don’t know why? You got rid of the problem makers but you’re still crashing or having the same errors time and time again.

Maybe you’ve even laid off some folks because of it. Maybe they deserved it. Maybe not. The problem is rarely obvious, but always easily remedied. Have you considered you might have a less-than-efficient overall process and management system? Could the company internal dynamic be causing the external errors? Don’t like what you’re hearing? Don’t fret, it’s all growing pains that other successful businesses have experienced before ERP software set them straight.

Read Also: What is an ERP Software?

Take A Step Back

As humans, when we see a problem, we try to fix it. Men are especially bad at this. We’re prone to solve problems and create solutions for everything we encounter during our days. This often gets us into trouble with our spouses and significant others. Women, you know what I’m saying.

A man’s analytical lean is not a bad thing, but it can cause disturbances in the process if left unchecked. That goes for all business men and women. We’re wired as problem solvers. It’s a blessing and a curse. When you’re assessing a potential human error in one of your departments, I challenge you to take a moment to pause and reflect on the full context of the situation before placing the blame on a specific operator, employee, or department.

More times than not, the issue lies not with the human but the environment. This could be the management systems, procedures, outdated technology, inadequate training, lack of and poor communication, or a whole slew of things. It’s never quite as simple as “push this button.” That’s one reason why eyewitness accounts don’t hold up in court. We all perceive our own realities within the same environment, situation, or occurrence. If we can’t be trusted with our own experiences, then how could we assume the answer to a business problem is straightforward?

I hope these questions are getting your wheels turning. In order to thrive in business, we must always maintain an attitude of learning and a teachable spirit. Continuous growth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom is the root of all great businesses. But I won’t leave you with arbitrary philosophies and uncertainties left unanswered.

There is a solution; and yes this one goes against my earlier statement of “nothing is quite so simple,” but in this case, it is. So what is it you might be wondering. ERP software.

Your Preemptive Strike 

ERP software, specifically Adjutant, will guide you through the array of procedures, processes, and checks and balances that you set in place. This ensures nothing is left unturned or crucial steps overlooked. Your managers can construct limitations to monitor and control how much someone can spend. It also gives you a powerful tool to investigate any errors that arise.

But that’s the other great thing about Adjutant. It’s your preemptive strike before errors arise, thus saving you the headache and time associated with solving it, and in turn, putting more money in your pocket. As we all know “time is money,” but I’ll challenge you to go one step further. Efficiency, transparency, and omniscient access is the stimulus of money AND a thriving business.

If you’re constantly wasting your valuable time managing the menial tasks and putting out fires, it might mean it’s time for you to look for a better solution. We can help you put a permanent blanket over those problems and prevent them from happening again. Give us a call or schedule a demo today to see how the #1 ERP software can solve more than your problems but propel you to the next level of prosperity.

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About Author

Ray used to manage Sales & Marketing Operations at ABIS, Inc. We are making businesses smarter by automating their processes to gain productivity, increase margins and generate more profits.

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